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Hydraloop trial to reduce Sydney water use

Sydney Water is trialling the Hydraloop water recycling system

In an Australian first, Sydney Water has launched a new pilot program that aims to recycle and reuse between 25% and 45% of household water with help from the Hydraloop, a water recycling system designed to be installed in the home.

Roughly the size of a fridge, the Hydraloop is a greywater recycling system designed to be installed indoors. It treats wastewater from baths and showers for reuse with a unique, low maintenance and energy-efficient biological treatment process.

Sydney Water Research and Innovation Manager Nicola Nelson said the trial aims to assess the technology’s capability, particularly in regards to reducing domestic water use.

“As this is the first trial of its kind in Australia, it is exciting for Sydney Water to be at the forefront of experimenting with innovative technology like Hydraloop,” she said. 

“We are always looking for ways to improve water efficiency, as well as recycling including reusing grey water. This trial will allow us to really home in on what Hydraloop can actually do in the Australian housing context and how this will help our customers save water.”

Residential and commercial trial

The trial will involve commercial and residential properties working with Sydney Water to test the Hydraloop, with 13 units installed in the homes of Sydney Water customers, 12 units installed by a commercial developer and four units installed in a multi-unit social housing redevelopment.

“While we are still working through the installation phase, the opportunity to be able to trial this water-saving technology is a significant achievement as it will effectively generate a new climate-independent water supply for homes and businesses,” Nelson said.

“Hydraloop units can accept wastewater from showers, baths and washing machine rinse water and, once treated, can return the supply of water to toilets, washing machine wash cycles, irrigation and pool top-ups.”

Saving water and dollars

By installing a Hydraloop, an average household can expect to save between 1000 and 1700 litres a week, or the equivalent of $1000 per year on water bills. Furthermore, for every 16 Hydraloop units installed, Sydney Water expects to save one megalitre per year, which is an annual saving of $16,600.

The average Sydney household uses about 500 litres of tap water each day, with shower usage accounting for around 25%, garden usage accounting for another 25% and toilet usage at around 17% of total household demand.

The Hydraloop has the potential to generate enough recycled water to meet the demand for toilet water, and about a third of the demand for garden application.